An AMV BBDO advertising supplement: AMV buys PHD for pounds 5m to create media shop

24 May, 1996

24 May, 1996



The Abbott Mead Vickers group is to buy Pattison Horswell Durden in a

move that will create a top-five media brand in the UK to be called New

PHD.



Abbott Mead is thought to be paying around pounds 5 million for the

company on an earn-out basis, with the three partners - David Pattison,

Nick Horswell and Jonathan Durden - tied in a for a minimum of five

years.



John Ayling’s 20 per cent share of PHD will be sold to Abbott Mead as

part of the agreement.



The new company will have billings of around pounds 260 million. New PHD

will also incorporate the pounds 20 million TV buying for Leagas

Delaney, which Abbott Mead took on earlier this year.



Clients are already understood to have been informed about the move and

there is only one major conflict: PHD handles Lil-lets while Abbott Mead

works with Tampax. Discussions with these two clients are thought to

centre on the benefits of category specialisation.



As part of the deal, Abbott Mead will relinquish all in-house media

functions and its media department will move into PHD’s offices.



Ken New, currently vice-chairman of Abbott Mead, will become chairman of

the new operation, with Pattison, Horswell and Durden running the

company with him.



Senior roles will be found for all Abbott Mead and PHD top people,

including Abbott Mead’s media director, Alan Brydon. No redundancies are

expected.



The rationale behind the merger is the recognition of the need for scale

in the media market. Both PHD and Abbott Mead have built solid media

reputations for their creative thinking and innovative approach, but

neither had the bulk to match major media players such as Zenith Media

or TMD Carat.



The idea is that New PHD will combine creativity with a well-resourced

media operation more able to match the might of the media owners.



No-one at either Abbott Mead or PHD would comment on the deal.



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